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Dragon Age - Asunder: 3 (Dragon Age 3) Paperback – Deckle Edge, 23 Dec 2011
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"For fans of the Dragon Age games and the fantasy world they exist within I can wholeheartedly recommend this book." --The Sixth Axis
"Dragon Age: Asunder is a fantastic and immersive fantasy book, a must pick up if you are a fan of the gaming series." --Game Rockers
"Easy to read and more intriguing by the chapter, Dragon Age: Asunder is a must-have purchase for all fans of the game." --BnB Gaming
"A welcome expansion of the franchise." --Console Obsession
About the Author
David Gaider has worked for video game developer Bioware since 1999. He is the lead writer on the Dragon Age: Origins role-playing game and has previously worked on such titles as Baldurs Gate 2: Shadows of Amn, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Neverwinter Nights. He also wrote the previous two Dragon Age novels, The Stolen Throne and The Calling.
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Top customer reviews
The book drags horribly, especially at the beginning. It takes lots of pages for anything to truly happen and when it does it seems after a few pages we're back at the beginning. David Gaider uses that first part of the book to introduce us to the new characters and to paint a picture of Thedas after the events in Kirkwall in DA2. The problem is that the characters he presents us are neither interesting or likable and he only touches in the "grand picture" of Thedas superficially, holding on to the good stuff for DAI. The book takes place in Orlais but it could just have been Ferelden. Other than an opening sequence at a party, where Orlais' s society and "the game" is mentioned, nothing more about it is explored in "Asunder".
When the book is at its lowest, in comes Wynne to brighten things up for the fans. Only this really isn't the game's Wynne. Gaider seems to bend the character to support the direction of the plot and what happens is that soon enough you hardly recognize Wynne at all. At least the Wynne you loved or that annoyed you heavily in DAO :D
The rest of the characters range from forgettable, like the bland and insecure Rhys, the protagonist, or the beautiful templar and obvious love interest, Evangeline to the incredibly annoying like the mage Adrian, who cant seem to stop talking about freedom and being a jerk to everyone around her. There's also a really evil Seeker that's so evil its almost cartoonish. Almost at the end of the book, Gaider tries to give him some depth and motivation other than "being evil" but its too late for the reader to care. There's also a plot about a young mage, Cole, that only Rhys can see and an ongoing discussion about whether he's a demon or a spirit or just a frightened boy but I honestly found his character highly unlikable and the whole plot uninteresting and tiresome. The romance between the mage, Rhys and Evangeline also suffers from both a hugely predictable development and not enough attention from Gaider. It seems that after a while they're in love because the plot demands it and not because the characters truly connected.
There's a quest to be found in the middle of the book. Its the best part, filled with battles, spells from the game, trips to the fade with the archdemon from DAO making an appearance. Its simply epic and amazing but its over too soon and after a few pages we are back at the circle discussing mage's freedom and whether Cole is a demon or not. Again!
The book never seems to really get its stride. Its always building up to something but that something is "Dragon Age: Inquisition".
David Gaider's writing is easy and pleasant to read. He has a sort of hypnotic quality, his prose flows without effort and even the filler pages move at a decent pace. He is as always superb in the battle sequences and there are some truly exciting pages in "Asunder" that had me on the edge of my "seat". I did find that he went into nasty and unnecessary detail in some situations like the sewers descriptions or some shockingly bloody and disgusting sequences which seem a bit out of place with the rest of the book. Perhaps he tried to make things more adult but some details, I felt, were a bit too gruesome for Dragon Age.
"Asunder" is essentially worth for its importance for the future of the DA universe. I would say its events carry more weight for DAI than even those in the second game and if you are a fan, that alone makes "Asunder" worth it.
As a book its passable but as a piece of DA history its unmissable.
Without giving away too many details, the story toys with the idea of being able to reverse the Rite of Tranquility, which as players of the game know leaves mages completely emotionless and unable to cast spells - hence they cannot be possessed by demons. If this could be reversed then the Chantry and the templars will be compromised as they have no way of controlling potentially dangerous mages. This whole concept, inevitably, is what becomes the spark for the Mage-Templar War we are obviously going to see in Dragon Age 3. Asunder is perfect for anyone who wants to bridge the gap between DA2 and 3, offering the chance for the fan to get a better insight into the world of Thedas and in particular, its mages and templars! David Gaider's prose, for one thing, crafts this story into something that is so good it's ensnaring, whilst remaining simple enough that anybody can read it. Characters are written so their voice can be heard clearly through the writing, and you do honestly care what happens to them. Let's just say that the ending was sad enough that I felt the threat of tears, and the Epilogue was so satisfying that I left the book feeling very pleased indeed. Some of the settings throughout are so exquisitely described that it is like you are there. (I know that's a cliché but it is the honest to Maker truth!) From the White Spire Circle of Magi in Val Royeaux, with its dark, foreboding atmosphere and even darker 'Pit', to the dusty purple desert of the Western Approach and the demon-ravaged halls of Adamant Fortress, you will know that this is Dragon Age. It's dark, gruesome, and exactly how it should be. And there's Darkspawn at one point! What's not to like?
Although some of the characters could be compared to the ones already in the games (for example, I've heard people say that Evangeline is a lot like Thrask and Adrian is like Grace) they are unique enough to be enjoyable to read about. As I mentioned earlier in the story section, their voices are clear and their personalities shine through. Wynne is there as one of the main characters, although she has changed much since Origins. Fans of the nagging, grandmotherly Wynne (like me) might be disappointed to find she is a cold, hard-hearted crusader through a good 3/4 of the book, but personally this just made me more interested in her character. She is not so skewed from her original character that you don't recognise her; I could still hear her voice in my head, but she was just a bit more...driven. Shale makes a return as well, and old fans won't be disappointed with her at all! She is still pigeon-hating, griping about 'fleshy creatures' and other things, and is one heck of a tank when fighting! I won't go into too much details, but a lot of masonry goes flying when she lets loose! Wynne's son, Rhys, is in my opinion the most lovable mage ever. You can't imagine him ever turning to blood magic, even though he does study spirits and demons. He's charming, a bit of a joker and has an Orlesian accent. Enough said I think. You'll have to read the book to find out more. His friend Adrian (a girl, I might add) is hot-headed and always looking for a fight whether it be other mages or templars. She doesn't care, but her fire spells are awesome and quite fitting for her character I think. Evangeline is the templar sent to watch over them on Wynne's quest, and is not bad as templars go. She is quite pro-mage, wanting to protect them from others and themselves, so obviously takes her duty very seriously. I won't tell what happens to her as a character but I could seriously see her making an appearance in Dragon Age 3. Another character appearance is Leliana, who sadly is not in it enough for my liking.
As for the villain, Lord Seeker Lambert is perfect for the role. He is the pinnacle of mage-hate, much like Knight-Commander Meredith in DA2, only with more power and ruthless cunning. He basically makes life hell and causes more than enough grief and heartache to keep everyone busy. Have fun reading him...I certainly did.
All I can say is, if you read the blurb on the back of this book in a bookshop and think, 'hm, that sounds vaguely boring', that's because it doesn't do the book justice. It's an incredible addition to the Dragon Age universe, and makes me want Dragon Age 3 all the more. Brilliantly written with a good twist in the plot that you won't see coming: get it now!
Otherwise very enjoyable story set continuing the story from both dragon age 1 and dragon age 2 the computer games.
The world and characters are very nicely developed and clearly defined, the author captures the personalities, descriptions and world perfectly.
Really feel sorry for the mages, sadly felt DAO 2 lacked alternative story in helping the mages as they just turn into abominations.
In the book though, there is less of that and more of the dreadful curse of being born a mage and being locked up in a dungeon.
The basic story revolves around Wynne the healer who travels with a party to rescue a friend from an old Warden Keep.
Con : The friend has been doing research into reversing tranquility, he is tranquil which means he cannot use magic, so how is he able to use magic and cast runes?
My only other gripe is Chapter 20 seems to jump into Leliana joining the party from thin air.
Otherwise thoughly enjoyed the story and as other reviewers have remarked it is nice to know what was happening elsewhere after Dragon Age Origins 2 the computer game ended.
This is a third book by one of the lead writers for the computer game, each of which are stand alone.
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I loved the first too, and I came to this series post DA:2, and I read this pre DA:I.Read more